Vagal afferents contribute to exacerbated airway responses following ozone and allergen challenge

Edward S Schelegle, William F. Walby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Brown-Norway rats (n=113) sensitized and challenged with nDer f 1 allergen were used to examine the contribution of lung sensory nerves to ozone (O3) exacerbation of asthma. Prior to their third challenge rats inhaled 1.0ppm O3 for 8h. There were three groups: (1) control; (2) vagus perineural capsaicin treatment (PCT) with or without hexamethonium; and (3) vagotomy. O3 inhalation resulted in a significant increase in lung resistance (RL) and an exaggerated response to subsequent allergen challenge. PCT abolished the O3-induced increase in RL and significantly reduced the increase in RL induced by a subsequent allergen challenge, while hexamethonium treatment reestablished bronchoconstriction induced by allergen challenge. Vagotomy resulted in a significant increase in the bronchoconstriction induced by O3 inhalation and subsequent challenge with allergen. In this model of O3 exacerbation of asthma, vagal C-fibers initiate reflex bronchoconstriction, vagal myelinated fibers initiate reflex bronchodilation, and mediators released within the airway initiate bronchoconstriction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 31 2012


  • Airway reactivity
  • Brown-Norway rat
  • Der f 1
  • Ozone
  • Vagus nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


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